What value – or rather what values - should we give to nature? The Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (Ipbes) provides some answers to that big question on Monday, 11 July. On a note first: The value most often attributed to biodiversity, that is, its market value, is largely insufficient to reflect all of its contributions to humanity. Nor does it make it possible to meet the formidable challenge of the collapse of life. Making political and economic decisions with only a limited view of what nature provides, as today, is the opposite “important factor” at the root of the crisis.
Often presented as “the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for Biodiversity”, in reference to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the Ippes, during its plenary session in Bonn, Germany, adopted its Assessment Report on Estimating the Values of Nature, as a result of four Years of work and the collaboration of 82 world-class scientists and experts from various disciplines. The decision-makers’ summary, published on Monday, is about thirty pages long, approved by the body’s 139 member governments, giving it significant political weight. These decision-makers also endorsed another report, presented Friday, urging them to sustainably manage the wild species that the world’s population depends on for their survival.
For this new assessment, Ippes focused on the multiple values associated with nature, which vary according to knowledge, languages, cultural traditions, or environmental contexts. While some see people and nature as interdependent and part of a single whole system, others see them as two separate entities. Experts have classified these different approaches into four broad categories: living” by “nature,” “nature,” “nature,” and “nature.”
“We see nature as a giant factory”
Those who see themselves as subsisting in nature, the researchers explain, emphasize nature’s ability to provide resources to sustain livelihoods and satisfy human needs and desires: the river will be valued based on the number of fish caught for food. Viewing the self as living with nature acknowledges the intrinsic value of non-human living beings – for example, the right of a fish to swim freely in a river. The idea of living in nature refers to the importance of the natural environment in building people’s sense of belonging and identity. Finally, the approach to living like nature attests to the physical, mental and spiritual connection of humans with their environment – the river can be considered sacred.
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